5 Things I have learned in my first week of college

1. You do not need to show up to every class thirty minutes before it actually starts. 

I am obviously still adjusting to my schedule and finding out what works best for me.  One thing I have already learned that does not work out for me is arriving at every damn class 30+ min before they start. My dorm building is relatively close to my classroom buildings and on average it takes me about 6-9 minutes to get from my dorm to my classes. I have been getting up super early and leaving way before my classes start with the fear of getting there late. I want to nip this habit in the bud early so that I am not wasting my time once my work load starts to increase and my time becomes limited. I was raised to always make sure I show up to things either early or right on time but I am showing up excessively early which could soon become a problem.

2. The girls you share your communal bathroom with were not raised the same way you were when it comes to cleaning. 

When I found out I had a communal bathroom in my dorm, of course, I was grossed out and nervous to have to share my space with 52 other females. The first couple of days on campus were not so bad. Everyone seemed like they were cleaning up after themselves, making sure if they made a mess they cleaned it up right away and, were taking care of our bathroom. Now I feel like some of the girls on my floor might be getting a bit too comfortable. Leaving toilet paper on the ground and wads of hair in the shower and “forgetting” to flush the toilet seems like habits they are having a hard time breaking since leaving home. This is hard for me to deal with because at my house this was never okay so I never got into the habit of doing these things. When I make a mess, especially in a setting such as our communal bathroom- I clean it up. Growing up I had daily chores that I was responsible for finishing and it is to my understanding that some of these girls were raised the same way but their transition from living at home and now alone in school is not going the same as mine.  I have learned that not everyone has the same habits, hygiene or common courtesy as I do and in some cases, there is not much I can do about it.

3. Take advantage of ALL of the free stuff your school is willing to give you.

I am now a poor college student. I do not have the time to pretend like I am out here in college balling. A few people have invited me to do things over the weekend and during the week which have all required me spending money I really do not have. I found that it is a lot easier to take advantage of the free activities my school has to offer me rather than spending money on activities I really can’t afford. After all, I am paying my own tuition to attend Temple. I intend on taking advantage of all of the FREE things they are willing to offer me. I am a sucker for a free t-shirt, I love free food and if it’s an event that gets me out of my sad dorm room I am all for it. I am so much of a free loader that a Redbull rep was handing out free RedBull to students in my dorm building this past weekend and I do not drink red bull but I love free stuff so much I almost took the Redbull anyway ( wait does this mean I like free stuff or am I just greedy? LOL!).

It’s still early in the semester and I do not want to find myself in a situation months from now that I could have easily avoided by planning and spending my money responsibly early on in the year. This past Friday I attended a free bus trip our Tyler school of art was hosting down into Old City Philadelphia. Although I am not an art major nor do I really enjoy visiting art galleries, I had a really good time. I went with a friend and we walked around, took pictures, got ice cream and talked for about two hours about everything! I am encouraging myself to get involved with trips and events like this even though I might not have an interest in it at first because I want to open myself up to things I have never done before.

4. Staying in does not mean that you are boring.

I have been kicking myself in the foot lately because this past week a lot of the people in my hall have been going out to parties. Just to give some background, I have never been a “party person” it’s never been my setting. I’d much rather hang out at a kickback or go do something else but being crammed into a sweaty house with alcohol and people I do not know just does not appeal to me. Because of this, I have made myself feel guilty for not going out. I have tricked myself into thinking I am “boring” or not experiencing the “college life” and all it has to offer by not attending parties. I have to remind myself that just because I am not going to parties does not mean that I am not having fun and also does not mean that I am not getting involved. I know that it is only my first week of my freshman year and that my attitude towards parties could surely change, but for right now I have just decided they are not my thing and that is okay.

5. It is okay to be “Freshman-y” 

Whether you are a freshman in high school or a freshman in college you are absolutely aware that you are at the bottom of the food chain and essentially no one has respect for you just because of the mere fact of you being a freshman. I HATE that coming into school there are so many Facebook posts and articles shared on “what not to do” as a freshman. Some of them were so crazy for example I saw an article that said that freshmen shouldn’t wear their lanyards around their necks, should try to avoid asking upperclassmen for help and “shouldn’t be so excited for college”. I just want to say right now that I feel like all of that is bullshit. I mean it is absolutely crazy to think that putting your lanyard around your neck… where it goes.. could make you look more like a freshman… which I AM. It is as if the motives of these articles and statments are to try an help us look like anything else but a freshman. I have learned from my own experiencs this week that I am okay with looking like an annoying freshman. I am prefectly fine with not knowing where my classes are and having to ask for help, or not knowing how to get a package sent to me, or not knowing how to work the washing machines in our laundry room. My pride and ego are not too big for me to ask for help and I hope that if there are any freshman reading this post ( whether in highschool or college) you understand that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Use the tools and resources that are here for freshmen to succeed and take advatage of all of the help people are willing to give you now because they might not be so willing as you begin to get older. Lastly, it is okay to be excited about college. Some of us have worked so hard to get here and we deserve to feel excitement and pride to be where we are. Do not let upperclassmen or anyone else make you feel like you should not be excited.

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Love, J

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